Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats – Botany Walk

Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats – Botany Walk

A joint event with Wild Bird Trust

Trip Report by Leader, David Cook

on June 22, 2019, nineteen participants walked the trails of this ecologically rehabilitated industrial site. We observed the amazing diversity of both native and non-native species. These species have been planted there or grown naturally from soils brought mainly from West End development sites of the City of Vancouver. 

In 1992, Vancouver Port Authority, who are the owners of the area, agreed to lease the flats to Environment Canada for 49 years to permit the land to be managed as a wildlife conservation area. The Wild Bird Trust, which was founded in 1993 by Dr. Richard C. Beard and Patricia M. Banning-Lover, were chosen to manage the area.

Highlights of the walk were “windows” in the leaves of St Johns wort; how to identify a Gary oak from other oak species; the way orache excretes salt into external leaf glands; the adaptation of protective spines on ponderosa pine cones and the spectacular upright cones of the true fir. Nature has a reason for everything and it was interesting to speculate why they developed some of those features.

Fir cones – Photo by Jane Heavyside
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